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And shall call his name Immanuel. —Isaiah 7:14

Read Isaiah 7:1-16

On the currency of some nations you can find the phrase “God be with us” or something similar. By this we are always reminded that the Lord has not forsaken us, although sometimes it may seem that way. He still remembers mankind and showers us with many good gifts. During World War II some of the belts worn by the German soldiers bore the inscription “God with us” as they tried to annihilate the chosen people of God. The term “God with us” is very special for there was a time that God was against us. This is our own fault for we turned our backs to God and forsook Him. But today we may hear that God desires to be with us. Ahaz, the king of Judah, was discouraged; the Lord had delivered him into the hands of the Syrians as a punishment for serving idols. And so Rezin, the king of Syria, and Pekah, the king of northern Israel, were emboldened to go up against Jerusalem to destroy Ahaz (vs.1,2).

But before the battle took place, the Lord encouraged Ahaz by sending Isaiah and his son Shearjashub. The prophet called the armies of the enemy “tails of smoking firebrands” (v.4). It all looked quite impressive, but the fire would soon be put out. The Lord wanted to underline His promise of deliverance with a sign (v.11), but Ahaz refused to ask for a sign, using a pious sounding excuse (v.12). Ahaz had already made a covenant with the Assyrians and turned away from the God of Israel. Still the Lord would give him a sign, the coming of His Son Immanuel (v.14). With this sign God also calls you.

Why is “God with us” such a great wonder?


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